It’s mighty cold here in Melbourne at the moment, which isn’t really surprising given we’re in the midst of winter. As much as I’d love to just hit the road and head to warmer climate, well …

A long trip north sounds fantastic … however not all of us can simply up and go to Central Australia or the Cape. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t uncover ways to enjoy a short break and chase away the winter blues …

That’s the premise of my column in the current issue of On the Road Magazine.

With about six weeks left in Winter I thought I’d check out a few more ways to embrace the season.  There’s always something happening, an event, a festival, indoor events. No need to hibernate, just cos it’s cold.

White Night Reimagined

White Night transforms the city of Melbourne. Buildings along city streets are illuminated with a kaleidoscope of projections changing the view every few minutes. Musicians play on street corners and balconies and the vibe is incredible. We went last year and I wrote about it here.

This year it promises to be even better. And it’s more than just one night. Prepare to enter a different realm and be transported into another world for a three-night winter spectacular across three of Melbourne’s inner-city parks and gardens: Carlton Gardens, Treasury Gardens and Birrarung Marr.

On the eve of spring, White Night reimagined 2019 will be full of art, culture, large scale performance and, held in conjunction with the Melbourne Food and Wine festival, it promises to be a delicious experience for all of the senses.

Save the dates: Thurs August 22 – Sat 24 August.

Hit some Speed in Winton

Feel a need for speed?  Head to Winton, about 2.5 hours from Melbourne where the festival of speed is guaranteed to blow away a few cobwebs 

Featuring a 300 plus field of historic cars at the Winton Raceway, from the 1940s through to the 1990s, this is one for those who like to live life in the fast lane. Or those who just like to perve at old cars.

Towns Rugged Up

If you happen to be passing through Benalla in August you’ll notice it’s all dressed up for Winter. Yep, they’re a creative bunch and you’ll find yarn installations on pergolas, lane ways, trees and bollards all through the month of August. This rugged up Winter yarn bombing seems to be the ‘in thing’ now.

Even my hometown dresses up for its annual shindig, aka the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival on Sunday 25 August. It’s always a big day out with an influx of people flooding the village from all across Melbourne. There’s hoards of families milling the streets, steam train rides, buskers, markets, music and loads more. It’s a fantastic festival, though now my kids are grown up, we tend to either hibernate or leave town.

Cheese and Wine anyone

Want to escape Melbourne’s winter and head to Tuscany, without the airfare?  Okay, well, I can’t promise vineyards and warmth but there’ll be pane Toscana, olive oil and salami. And lots of vino to try.  All you need to do is close your eyes and you’ll be transported through food and wine from Collingwood to Tuscany!  Visit Tour of Tuscany tasting for all details.

How about a Blobfish beer festival at the Meat Market in North Melbourne?  Sound bizarre? This new beer festival focuses on funky, barrel-aged and mixed fermentation beers. 

The website tells us … “Like the blobfish, they emerge from the depths of the beer scene – intriguing, slightly obscure, somewhat unknown but always exciting. Melbourne’s iconic Meat Market hosts 16 breweries from across Australia, plus a handful from overseas.

Over two sessions on Saturday 24 August, the event includes a special festival restaurant, oyster bar, premium cheese, a bottleshop for unique takeaways, live acoustic music, natural wine, and more.”

Now, don’t let the name put you off but, for those who love their cheese, The Mould Festival is Australia’s most famous cheese festival. Come and taste the best cheese from all over Australia in one place. Don’t let the name put you off.

You gotta hand it to Melbourne, we’re not called the foodie capital of Australia for nothing!

Wonderland Run

Now personally, the Grampians is to be savoured and walked. However, for those who feel particularly energised, put your running shoes on. What a setting for a run!

The Wonderland Run Grampians, held from 24-25 August, is a trail running weekend that caters for runners of all abilities with trails in Halls Gap ranging from 2kms to a 60km ultra marathon.

You’ll be running in some of the most spectacular landscape in Victoria. Visit Wonderland Run Grampians for all the details.

Close to home

Walking with Harry at Mt Macedon

I have a dream in my mind, a big dream, plans that involve travel and lots of new ventures. In the interim it’s all about learning, enjoying the steps and the small joys that we can find every day and every where.

Sometimes the best things are found right on our doorstep. And they cost very little. A day trip to Macedon, an invigorating walk in the fog, my daily walks with Harry, coffee in a new cafe around the corner, dinner with close friends in a new restaurant. It doesn’t take much to break out of the ordinary and immerse ourselves in a new experience. Every time we step into something new we’re creating a new version of our story.

Where is your story taking you?

Whatever season you’re in, winter or summer, embrace it all, look for the joys that light a fire in your soul and let your passions guide you. Life’s too short not to dream, plan and seek out what we love.

Keep enjoying the journey.

Cheers, in love and light

Exploring the Otways. Never before have I felt so certain I’m on the right path. Here’s to following our dream and always looking up

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